2 Jefferson Parish deputies charged with manslaughter for shooting man in vehicle

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Two Jefferson Parish deputies who shot and killed a man who refused their orders to get out of a moving vehicle last week in Marrero have been arrested on warrants of manslaughter and fired from the department, Sheriff Joe Lopinto said Monday night (February 21).

Lopinto announced the arrests and firings of Isaac Hughes, 29, and Johnathan Louis, 35, who had each been on patrol for the JPSO for two years or less.

The deputies had been placed on administrative suspension since shooting dead Daniel Vallee, 32, on February 16 outside what Lopinto described as a known “crack house” in the 500 block of Wilson Street in Marrero.

Isaac Hughes and Johnathan Louis(Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office)

READ MORE: ‘My son is gone now;’ Family mourns man shot dead by JPSO deputies after refusing to get out of car

Lopinto said Hughes and Louis were among five deputies who responded to a neighbor’s noise complaint at the scene and tried for more than 12 minutes to convince Vallée to get out of a vehicle parked outside. Vallée refused their orders, Lopinto said, and when he turned on the engine facing the deputies, the guns were drawn.

Lopinto said footage captured on cameras carried by the deputies and interviews with JPSO personnel at the scene confirmed that when Vallée honked the vehicle’s horn, one deputy opened fire and the second joined in. several shots. Vallée died at the scene, authorities said.

“Mr. Vallée had every opportunity to cooperate and comply,” Lopinto said. “There was force that was clearly warranted at this time, but it was not lethal force. extremely unfortunate for everyone.

Lopinto said JPSO investigators considered a range of possibilities, from not making an arrest for justifiable homicide to convicting the deputies for negligent homicide, manslaughter or even second-degree murder. Ultimately, he said, detectives found no criminal intent to support a murder allegation, but did find probable reason to seek manslaughter warrants.

Manslaughter in Louisiana is punishable by up to 40 years in state prison on conviction. However, it will be up to District Attorney Paul Connick’s office to decide what charge the former deputies ultimately face, if any.

“There is a defense here,” said Lopinto, convinced that the deputies were genuinely afraid for their lives during the meeting.

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